The Emperor Penguins is the largest of the penguin species, standing 1.15m tall and weighing 23 to 40kg. Its distinctive yellow markings and bright orange bill easily distinguish the penguin from other species. Emperor penguins are one of the “classic” penguin species that people imagine when they hear the name.
Fun Facts About Emperor Penguins
- Emperor penguins have a life span 20 years.
- Mothers care for their young chicks and protect them with the warmth of their own brood pouches.
- Emperors are the largest penguins.
- The female penguin lays one egg which is kept warm by the male penguin.
- They are only found on Antarctica.
- They weigh about 60 to 90 pounds.
- There were estimated to be around 238,000 breeding pairs of emperor penguins in the world in 2009.
- Males can lose half their weight while keeping an egg warm.
- They have short wings to help them dive.
- This penguin lives in the harshest weather by employing physiological adaptations and cooperative behaviors.
- They have a black head, chin and throat.
- They have yellow patches on their throat and near their ears.
- They are about 36 to 44 inches tall.
- Male penguins stand together in a big huddle for up to 9 weeks.
- Mother penguins take care of their chicks with the warmth of their own brood pouches.
- They huddle together to escape from wind and keep themselves warm.
- Emperor penguins tolerate low levels of oxygen during dives that would cause a human to pass out and they experience pressures so great that we would get the bends.
- Male emperors keep the newly laid eggs warm, but they do not sit on them, as many other birds do.
- A penguin’s normal resting heart-beat is about 60-70 beats per minute (bpm), this goes up to 180-200 bpm before a dive as they load up with oxygen
- They have brown eyes.
- When female penguins return to the breeding site, they bring a belly full of food that they regurgitate for the newly hatched chicks.
- Very few people have seen an emperor penguin huddle in the winter in a savage place where ice and cold are
king and the penguins spend days in silence.
- Emperors are preyed upon by Killer Whales, Leopard Seals, and the Giant Petrel.
- They eat fish and crustaceans such as crabs and shrimp.
- Males eat nothing when taking care of their eggs.
- They do not make a nest.
- They spend long winters on open ice.
- Emperor penguins reach breeding age at 4 years and can live to be 20.
- Early in the 20th century, Emperor penguins were thought to be some kind of evolutionary “missing link”,
something that scientists thought could be proven by observing the growth of the embryo at various stages.
- The chicks are very large too compared to other penguin species.
- Most penguin species lay two eggs at a time, but due to the difficulty of raising chicks in such a harsh climate, the Emperor penguin only lays one egg.
- Most penguin species take turns warming the egg, but it’s up to the Emperor penguin dads to do all the work once the egg is laid. The male stands with the egg on his feet under a brood pouch (for warmth). He does this for up to 9 weeks, without food, waiting for the
chick to hatch.
- Once the egg hatches, the female returns and the male heads out to the ocean to feed.